The Historical Society houses inactive records from the Corporation Division of the Office of the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State's database of corporation/business entity information is available online at http://www.accesskansas.org/apps/corporations.html, although it does not include all historic corporations that have been registered in Kansas. If a corporation remains in good standing, or if their records have been digitized, copies should be available from the Secretary of State's office (785-296-4564).
The records described below are available for research at the State Archives. These records are not restricted and patrons are welcome to visit our facility to use them. Our reference staff will perform searches for a fee. Additional information about Kansas businesses can be found in the Kansas State Gazetteer and Business Directories for 1878-1912 available on Kansas Memory.
Copies of charters and charter amendments, filed with the Secretary of State's office up to 1939, are available on microfilm at the State Archives and are indexed by name. The original business entity filings (a.k.a. "dead jackets") for corporations that forfeited before the year 2000 are also housed at the State Archives. These corporation files date back to approximately 1868. Dead jacket files may include: the charter application, final charter, amendments, changes of resident agent, lists of stockholders and dissolution documents, but not the disposition of the property or assets of the corporation. Please contact the KSHS reference staff for assistance with the historic corporation records.
Corporation/Business Entity annual reports are available on microfilm for approximately 1868 to 1997. The arrangement and content of these records varies over time. The agency changed filing systems and periodically changed the classifications assigned to corporations.
From 1868 to 1971 corporations were classified as either Domestic (chartered in Kansas), Foreign (chartered outside of Kansas) or Railroads. Beginning in 1972 the classifications expanded to include Limited Partnerships, Cooperative Associations, Professional Associations, Non-Profit Corporations, and other designations.
For-profit corporations always filed reports annually, but non-profits were not required to file annual reports till 1972. Up to 1986 annual reports are arranged alphabetically by the corporation name within each classification. From 1987 till 2000, annual reports are indexed by microfilm reel and frame number. Staff at the Secretary of State's Office and the reference staff at the Kansas State Historical Society have access to this index. Annual reports from the year 2000 and after are digitized and are available from the Secretary of State's website.